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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019

HSE cuts to nursing staff 'will set services back 15 years'

The Psychiatric Nurses Association of Ireland called the move ‘primary care in reverse’.

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THE PSYCHIATRIC NURSES Association of Ireland has warned that cuts to nursing staff at satellite addiction clinics will set the services back 12 to 15 years.

“It is primary care in reverse,” national secretary Peter Hughes told

“When the satellite clinics were set up about 15 years ago they were progressive and nurses were a key element. They provide support and counselling, as well as a lot of advice around infection prevention and control. They also ensure clients are attending their appointments.”

According to the PNA, the nurses’ absence will lead to more infection and eventually more pressure on Emergency Departments.

RTÉ reports that the HSE’s review and reconfiguration means the number of agency nurses assigned to the addition centres will be halved in the Dublin Mid-Leinster region from today.

Hughes said there will be no nurses in the 16 satellite clinics in the region as a result of the cuts, affecting up to 500 clients.

The centres, which were set up as places to support people suffering from addiction problems, will now be manned by GPs and general assistants.

In a statement this morning, the HSE said the needs of the service users will be accommodated though a GP referral and appointment system. It said clients “will not be compromised clinically by this change”.

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